Clickatell is one of the tech companies that is highlighted on the Cape Town Startup report as a major player in the Cape Town tech startup eco-system. This week it was announced that Clickatell has clinched a deal to implement WhatsApp Business solution globally. Clickatell now has offices in Silicon Valley. The company that was started in Cape Town is one of the great examples that Cape Town is the Tech Startup capital of the African continentas indicated in the report conducted by Endeavor. The organisation that conducted the research is headquartered in New York City and credits itself as pioneering the concept of high-impact entrepreneurship in growth markets around the world. The research was conducted by the research division of Endeavor, called Endeavor Insight.

The report which was released this week was commisioned by Wesgro,CITi, and the Silicon Cape and proves a theory that Cape Town is leading tech startups in the continent. The Cape Town tech eco-system now has a data to base their leadership claim.


The report highlights some of the major reasons why Cape Town is the leader in the tech startup eco-system and it highlights the following reasons:

  • Lifestyle
  • Productivity
  • Scale



Startup founders that were interviewed for the research highlighted lifestyle in Cape Town as one of the major contributing factors for choosing Cape Town to do business. Quality of life in Cape Town, its infrastructure and vibrant tech eco-system inspired many entrepreneurs to remain in Cape Town and start business after they graduated from varsity. Another reason that was mentioned by a number of entrepreneurs was the fact that Cape Town had wealthy people who were prepared to invest in startups.


One of the major reasons for Cape Town to be considered the best performer in the African tech scene is mainly its productivity. Even though the region has fewer startups (350-450) it, however, employs more people compared to startups in other countries.


The report also mentioned some of the key challenges faced by entrepreneurs which will require attention for Cape Town tech economy to grow. Access to talent was highlighted as one  major challenge. The scarcity of  developers is considered to be a major hurdle by many tech startup founders.


Access to capital is another challenge that was highlighted by a number of tech entrepreneurs who contributed to the research. Many felt that there’s a greater need for improvement in enabling entrepreneurs to access funding in Cape Town.


Lastly, the report concludes by highlighting four major areas that will require attention. One key recommendation by the report highlights the need for more focus on developing talent. It called for an organizations that currently develop skills to collaborate to enable them to support entrepreneurs better with the necessary talent.


The report, however, was criticised for not highlighting some of the major challenges that require the attention of the eco-system. One such area is diversity within the tech eco-system in Cape Town. The region is not utilizing fully the human capital that exists in Cape Town. The tech ecosystem is still dominated by one gender  and race.

Many in the eco-system also felt that there’s a need for more information to be highlighted about the eco-system in order to provide guidance about the needs of the tech startup eco-system in Cape Town.

Although the report lacks some information about the eco-system, it is a step in the right direction to provide guidance about the tech startup eco-system in Cape Town.



Kay Ann